SEO glossary entries for ‘A’

APP is an abbreviation of ‘Atom Publishing Protocol’.
A/B Split
See ‘A/B Testing’.
A/B Testing
Historically, refers to testing one version of an advertisement against another, by running both simultaneously to see which is most effective. May be used for comparative testing of individual pages or sites, e.g. to compare click-through rates (CTR) on different versions of the same link text or search result. Also known as ‘Split Testing’ or ‘Bucket Testing’.
See ‘Automated Bid Management’.
Acquisition source
See ‘Traffic Source’.
Ad Groups
A group of advertisements that targets one set of keywords or sites.
See ‘Google Adsense’.
Is a Google web search parameter which allows you to test advertisements without registering a ‘page impression’ (‘imp’) when it is set to on. URLs in the advert are not clickable in this situation.
See ‘Google Adwords’.
In the web context an Affiliate is a website owner or publisher that provides links from sites they own or control to sites which pay for those links, based on the number of visits or the amount of business that those links generate.
Are links with customised URs that encapsulate the ID or username of an affiliate. The ID can then be used by an advertiser to track all traffic the affiliate sends to the target site for their advertising campaign. See ‘Affiliate Program’ and ‘Affiliate Marketing’.
Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing in the web context involves a site paying affiliate sites for each visitor or customer coming from affiliated site. This web practice derives from the more concept of revenue-sharing in more generic affiliate marketing, i.e. that the recipient of potential new customers rewards an affiliated business for the marketing effort that the affiliate commits to generating new business leads. The traditional industry has the following principal components: a) a retailer, merchant, or brand', b) a network which offers a range of marketing and provides payment facilities, c) a publisher or affiliate, and d) the customer. See ‘Affiliate Program’, ‘Affiliate Links’ and
Affiliate Program
An ‘Affiliate Program’ is one, of potentially many, revenue sharing deals that a web link provider (the ‘Affiliate’) offers to sites that want them to send traffic in their direction. Programs can vary greatly in range, scale and complexity, from simple pay-per-click (‘PPC’) deals to highly integrated schemes where the affiliate provides the retailer with a whole range of merchant services and takes a cut of the business generated from their web links to the retailer. Perhaps the most high profile affiliate programs on the web are those offered by Amazon and Google to retailers who sell through their sites and affiliates which carry their linked adverts.
A subsidiary of known for its web traffic tracking and reporting toolbar and website. See ‘Alexa Toolbar’ and ‘’.
Alexa Toolbar
Is an toolbar extension for Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome Browsers. Alexa tracks web users who install the toolbar, providing traffic data and global rankings for thousands of websites. There is no question that the self-selecting nature of the sample population means that it is not in anyway representative of the general web population. However, like other non-representative populations, one can do useful analysis and comparison of trends within that population over time. Such comparisons can help SEO practitioners identify trends in the relative performance of competing sites/pages and formulate testable hypotheses to explain them. Note, however, that data from the Alexa Toolbar has become considerably less useful since Windows Defender classified it as malware, symantec classified it as trackware and McAfee classified it as adware.
Is a website providing website traffic data and analysis, based on tracking of the Alexa Toolbar browser extension. See ‘Alexa Toolbar’.
Alt Attribute
An HTML attribute which is required on the opening tag of image (‘img’) and other ‘replaced elements’. The Alt attribute provides a textual description of visual content, to handle the distinct possibility that a browser cannot display content from external files, e.g. pictures, videos, animation, etc. Contrary to popular misconception, alt attributes do not exist merely for the blind or visually impaired. They help anyone when graphics fail to load properly.
Alt Tag
The popular, but technically incorrect, name for the HTML ‘Alt Attribute’.
Alt Text
A textual description of the content or function of a visual media file to be included in a web page. This description is considered a ‘value’ of the HTML ‘Alt Attribute’. This text should only be seen on a visual display, if the content of the media file cannot be rendered. Internet Explorer incorrectly displays Alt Text in a pop-up tooltip when the user ‘mouses’ over a replaced element, e.g. and image or video.
A free and open source software package, which analyses web server logs and provides graphs, tables and charts of key web site performance metrics. Several of these metrics provide the most essential bits of data for formulating and monitoring an SEO campaign.
See ‘Application Programming Interface’.
Was previously just an abbreviation of ‘Application’, meaning ‘Computer Program’. This meaning is still current, but recently a narrower meaning has been coined, i.e. one in which ‘Apps’ are programs that you download to a mobile computing device from an ‘App Store’.
Is a google web search parameter which together with 'as_sitesearch' shows you results from a site except a given URL (when the value is set to e or only a given URL when the value is set to i.
Is a google web search parameter which matches an exact phrase. It is equivalent to the search phrase surrounded by quotes in search box.
Is a google web search parameter which excludes the specified search term. It is equivalent to prefixing the given search term prefixed with a minus sign in the search box.
Is a google web search parameter which allows you to limit results to a given file type, e.g. pdf, ps, dwf, kml, kmz, xls, ppt, doc, rtf, swf.
Is a Google web search parameter which excludes or includes only files with the given file type. Essentially, equivalent to 'as_filetype'
Is a Google web search parameter which finds sites linking to a given URL. It is equivalent to using link: in the search box (URL
Is a google web search parameter which matches the search expression if it occurs anywhere, in the title, in the body, in the url or in links.
Is a google web search parameter which with requires a match with at least one of the search terms. It is equivalent to the search terms combined with OR in search box.
Is a Google web search parameter which finds sites related to a URL It is equivalent to related:URL in the search box.
Is a Google web search parameter that is equivalent to the 'sitesearch' parameter, except that it shows site:URL in the search box and can be used together with 'as_dt'. As with the 'sitesearch' parameter, the URL can be specified with or without the http:// scheme.
Political, PR and advertising campaigns disguised as spontaneous, popular, "grassroots" behaviour, so as to circumvent web users' common distrust of paid-for advertising and promotion.
Atom is a natural language shorthand for two related ‘web standards’ for the publication of ‘web feeds’: The ‘Atom Syndication Format’ and the ‘Atom Publishing Protocol’. The Atom format was developed as an alternative to ‘RSS’.
Atom Feed
See ‘Atom’
Atom Publishing Protocol
The Atom Publishing Protocol (‘AtomPub’ or ‘A.P.P’) is a simple HTTP-based protocol for publishing and updating ‘web feeds’, i.e. it is primarily concerned with the HTTP transfer of lists, summaries and snippets of documents published in the ‘Atom Syndication Format’.
Atom Syndication Format
The Atom Syndication Format is an XML language used for marking up the content of ‘web feeds’. It differs from ‘RSS’ insofar as it is well-documented, standardised, and extensible. It is standardised as RFC4287.
AtomPub is an acronym for ‘Atom Publishing Protocol’
Authorative Domain
As far as most SEO is concerned, an Authoritative Domain is a web domain name which Google and Bing et al. consider to provide the best quality content for a given subject, or keyword set, i.e. sources of information which are authoritive on that subject or topic. Search Engines do not reveal which sites they consider authoritative, and it is typically impossible to calculate it for certain. However, if one site always ranks first for many variations of the same search expression, regardless of factors which are specific to the individual searcher (e.g. their location), it is not unreasonable to assume that this site is authoritative for the core concept contained within all of those expressions. Perhaps the easiest terms to establish authority for are those associated with a particular individual and their specialist activity. For example, if you search for the phrase: "j k rowling author of harry potter". The following domains will almost always be ranked first and second: and It is, therefore, pretty reasonable to assume that they are authoritative for that topic.
Authoritative Domain
see ‘Authoritative Domain’
In SEO, authority is an adjective describing the extent to which a site, page or hypertext link is a reliable and worthwhile information source. See ‘Authoritative Domain’. ‘Authority Pages’ and ‘Authority Links’.
Links that come from an ‘Authority Page’. Such links will enhance the trust that a search engine will place in the target page. See ‘Authoritative Domain’, ‘Authority Page’ and ‘Authority Links’.
Authority Pages
An authority page is one which search engines trust more than others in the same ‘Topical Community’; at least partially, because they receive a high proportion of their ‘Inbound Links’ from ‘Expert Pages’ or ‘Expert Sites’.
The process of search engine robots and other software automatically finding new content by following links. The term Autodiscovery is particularly associated with the way that Browsers and News aggregators find new stories via RSS, Atom, and similar XML feeds.

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